• Offs
  • First Record (CD Presents) 1984 

This punk-identified San Francisco quartet-plus-horns ensemble, possessed of both art and boogie aspirations, won a place in rock’n’roll history with the single, “Everyone’s a Bigot,” one of the best songs from the almost uniformly fine Let Them Eat Jellybeans compilation. A rolling sax riff and naive but sincere lyrics gave the song a compelling sense of urgency as well as a credible dance quotient. The Offs’ LP, however, takes the band into fake jazz and reggae pastures and sacrifices that single’s directness. The journeyman grooves, punctuated by corny horn parts, do nothing to launch the lyrics over their unrealized pretensions. The album offers cool, atmospheric music, but that’s the best thing one can say about it.

[John Leland]